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“Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.”
– Jodi Picoult

It’s funny how things change in the space of six months – and priorities realign. Anyone stumbling across this blog would think it’s been abandoned – nearly six months ago I last wrote about the heatwave! Those in the future would have found this blog and think that the heatwave wiped us all out… Therefore it was definitely necessary to write a new entry to alleviate any fears that future readers might have. Of course in the online world I haven’t been quiet, but my blog entries have mainly focused on my book reviews over at Tea Leaves and Reads as well as getting stuck into the third and final year of University.




2018 is almost over and what a year it has been. The biggest highlight definitely has to be engagement – and the exciting wedding planning that has been underway ever since. There are so many little achievements alongside that, too many to list, but definitely another reason to dust off the Good Things Jar for 2019 and start to keep track again.



(This picture sums up our new car… Maisy was, for the first time, confined to the ‘Boot’ (Trunk if you’re American) and absolutely hated it. We love it! No more hairy seats!)

2019 brings excitement – my sister’s Wedding is in March, the first three months of the year will be spent preparing for that.. and then my Thirtieth Birthday (needs capital letters) will be upon me in April. Whilst navigating the first quarter of the year I’ll also be doubling up on my University ‘years’ – doing two at once from January until August to get the pesky thing finished. It means a brand new job (placement) for me from the 2nd of January as although I am employed full-time part of my third year means going on placement with a completely different team and client group. By October I should know whether I’ve survived enough and done enough to become an NQSW – Newly Qualified Social Worker.. and then follows a year of assessment in employment to ensure that I can meet the standards required. Social Work is no easy feat… anyone who thinks it is needs a good talking to!

This year we made the decision to turn our guest room into a library… it was the best decision we ever made! Courtesy of IKEA and their amazing bookcases, it turned out the size of the room was the absolute perfect fit for their corner mahooosive bookshelf. So here are the in progress and ‘after’ shots. We’re still working on the room and once the massive pile of Christmas presents is dispersed over the next few days we will be able to straighten it out and take a few more photos (especially of the Reading Chair, very important.) The best thing about having this set up is that now every book I own can be accessible.. rather than in the loft making me feel guilty. And there are also at least five spare shelves… ;)


So for various reasons, photography with the Proper Camera, has taken a backseat. Wedding photography this year has been on hold and will be again for 2019 – as my weekends are spent either writing essays and reading (uni) books, or attending tutorials. Who knows what the future holds.. but one of my goals for 2019 is to enjoy photography for fun again, before I decide whether to go back to it professionally. It’s also so easy these days to just snap a photo on the iPhone.. in fact every photo in this blog entry is brought to you courtesy of an Apple Product. Fancy that. Camera phones are a game changer these days.



I also got the chance to meet my hero – Jodi Picoult – the woman who continues to inspire my love of reading (and attempting to write!) She visited the UK on her ‘A Spark of Light’ Tour with the release of her new book. It was absolutely amazing to hear her speak about the book and her writing… Truly an experience I will never forget.

There are so many other things to mention that have happened in the last quarter of 2018 – and prior to that! The most wonderful baby was born in the Summer and lots of memories have been created and experiences shared with his amazing parents and the rest of the friendship group around him as well as family times and just evenings spent with William where it’s us two and we play a board game, or watch a series, or just chill… The year has been good in so many ways.













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“When given an opportunity, deliver excellence and never quit.”
― Robert Rodriguez,

 

Today’s photos are courtesy of Yankee Candle and the Uni Dissertation office! A bit random, but that’s what you get when you spend most of a lazy Sunday writing lots and lots of words… I also photographed the tree again! But in a slightly more creative way…

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So today was mostly reserved for bashing out the final 2,000 words of my final final final university essay. I wanted it done, dusted and posted (because after spending all year submitting electronically they want it posted!) so that the next two weeks could be focused on hard, targeted revision. Having met that goal is amazing. I have such a clear mind (in my dreams). For those interested in the Open University and those who perceive it as the easy way out…trust me, it’s not. My whole journey with the Open Uni has been self motivated, self funded and self taught. With the exception of the past year where I have attended a grand total of three tutorials and experienced a great deal of support and indeed teaching, from my tutor.

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Instead of going to classes nearly everyday of the week and being lectured at, the Open Uni involves sitting in my room, at my computer, surrounded with all manner of better things to do, whilst trying to bash out numerous assignments and at the same time trying to collate, remember and revise copious amounts of text. I could quite often write a blog post of many more words, than my assignments – and more often than not in just a few short minutes too. With the assignments, comes the self doubt. I’ve been studying for four years with the OU, my first year involved a nice breezy level one course, my second involved Law (free choice, I chose to do it!). But in 2013 I decided to up my game and wasn’t going to wait around four more years to finish my degree…I lumped two level two courses together and found myself in much the same situation last Summer, as I am right now. End of module assignment due with an exam looming for the other course…

This year, I decided to do my final two level three courses at once. I had concerned advisors from the uni ringing me up and expressing their belief that this was too much for one person to undertake and work full time alongside. I even changed tutors at the latter end of 2013 because she didn’t even believe that I could do it. (The last thing I needed whilst undertaking such a heavy task, was doubt and disbelief from a tutor – the very person that I relied upon!) Nevertheless, every assignment that makes up my final two results this year has been a pass – and all I need now is to get a good exam grade and a good final assignment grade for this 4,000 word beast in order to come out with a degree.

It won’t be the degree in Psychology that I first started out with the intentions of obtaining (the science was beyond me!) and it won’t be the degree in law that I rather ambitiously thought I could afford let alone achieve in 2012. Instead it will be a degree in Social Policy and Criminology, something which both fascinates and engages me! Fingers crossed I get there – and sorry for the very long uni related ramble, but not only can it be done via distance learning (and the odd exam here and there) but it can be done in a considerably less amount of years than the Open University advises too!

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